Friday, January 13, 2017

Two Roads

This past Christmas vacation we drove up to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin which is the largest city in the Door County peninsula. When I say “largest city” please know that it is still on the small side. We spent the day reacquainting ourselves there because we hadn’t been back since we left Wisconsin.

I was the principal at the high school. At that time, there were only 515 kids and I knew them all. I could even tell you a story about each kiddo. I knew their parents and they knew me. Hannah walked to the grade school one block away and Emily went to a day care just on the outskirts of town. Kim taught in Green Bay and I remember her remarking that she used the forty-five minute drive to and from to decompress and relax.

In Sturgeon Bay there are older homes, antique shops, a beautiful marina, and a draw bridge that joins both parts of the city. Cherry and apple orchards, strawberry farms. Peaceful and quaint. We had lived there for five years and we still have very fond memories. It was fun remembering this place and that place, things we used to do, see and visit. An enjoyable side trip and family time.

Traveling from the lower part of Wisconsin to Sturgeon Bay was always a pretty and peaceful car ride. We’d travel from Green Bay north along the bay on the left or Lake Michigan on the right . . . I still get the two mixed up and as I wrote this, I had to look at a map. (And I used to teach geography!)

The ride was pretty. Large leafy trees and open fields. There was this beautiful farm and house along the way. Painted white with red trim and the yard was kept neat and tidy. Quaint, like something from a painter’s hand.  I would look at it longingly, wanting to live there. Small, small little burgs along the way like Brussels and Forestville to the south and Valmy to the north. I mean, you’d blink and you’d be in and out before you’d know it.

The ride changed!

Instead of the lazy highway we used to drive, there is now a double highway that is somehow “faster” and “easier” on which to move north and south. I didn’t see my little farm and house. It was destroyed so the new road could be built. On this new road, we hardly saw the bay, since the road was made “straighter” and moved more to the center of the peninsula taking the drive away from the little burgs and villages.

Sadly, the ride changed.

The peaceful, pretty ride that we once knew changed. It was gone. It was removed because of convenience. Or perhaps because of inconvenience, I’m not sure.

I suppose the road made it easier for folks to travel to and from. I supposed the new road made it easier for folks to get away for the weekend. And, I suppose because of the new road, there are fewer accidents because the new road doesn’t wind as much and because the new road was widened.

But . . .

At what cost, this progress, if it can be called that?

Two roads to the same destination. One lazy and peaceful and somewhat meandering. One sleek and straight and fast.

Each of us have options in the roads we travel, don’t we? We can take one road slowly and peacefully or faster and perfunctory.

Like life. Or love. Or . . . most anything. We can take the time to enjoy it and savor it or we can push the pedal to the floor and race through it. Which would you rather do this day? Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out what other readers have said about my novels.
Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy
“Joseph Lewis has created a cast of characters that you grow to care about. Their story is filled with twists and turns that keep you reading. When the book ends you will be left anticipating the next one! This was a story I could not put down!”  “I am really glad I happened to see this Trilogy while looking through my Kindle unlimited series. Great strong characters, especially George and Brett. Looking forward to reading more from this author. Started Taking Lives and immediately turned the pages to get to Stolen Lives.”

Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.          

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy
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Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.          

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy
“Engaging characters you care about. A story that is fast-paced and holds your attention to the point you cannot put it down. Great finish to a great series.”

A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him?      

Taking Lives, Prequel to the Lives Trilogy – only .99 cents on Amazon
“Great book by Joseph Lewis. Many twists and turns. Fasted paced.”  “Couldn’t put the book down.”  “Great story can't wait to read the next one!” “Great book! I really enjoyed it. Good author!” “Each character is developed thoroughly, igniting the reader's interest and stirring emotions. The frustration of the detective flows to the reader. The young boys are endearing.”

FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.

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